"Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" as written by and Dave Evans Adam Clayton....
You're dangerous 'cause you're honest
You're dangerous, you don't know what you want
Well you left my heart empty as a vacant lot
For any spirit to haunt

Hey hey sha la la
Hey hey

You're an accident waiting to happen
You're a piece of glass left in a beach
Well, you tell me things I know you're not supposed to
Then you leave me just out of reach

Hey hey sha la la
Hey hey sha la la

Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna drown in your blue sea?
Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna fall at the foot of thee?

Well you stole it 'cause I needed the cash
And you killed it 'cause I wanted revenge
Well you lied to me 'cause I asked you to
Baby, can we still be friends?

Hey hey sha la la
Hey hey sha la la

Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna drown in your blue sea?
Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna fall at the foot of thee?

Oh, the deeper I spin
Oh, the hunter will sin for your ivory skin
Took a drive in the dirty rain
To a place where the wind calls your name
Under the trees the river laughing at you and me
Hallelujah, heavens white rose
The doors you open
I just can't close

Don't turn around, don't turn around again
Don't turn around, your gypsy heart
Don't turn around, don't turn around again
Don't turn around, and don't look back
Come on now love, don't you look back!

Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna drown in your blue sea?
Who's gonna taste your salt water kisses?
Who's gonna take the place of me?

Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna tame the heart of thee?


Lyrics submitted by Novartza

"Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" as written by Dave Evans Adam Clayton

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses song meanings
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  • +2
    General Commentfor me this is a prime example of a song that could be about anything that has deep personal meaning. my best friend and i have bonded over this song countless times. without question this is our song...
    kingmikekingon March 20, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is about a woman who is dangerous and amazing at the same time. The protagonist falls in love with her... but eventually things get too wild and the protagonist eventually finds himself in emotional quicksand.

    They are an emotionally dangerous person:

    "You're an accident waiting to happen
    You're a piece of glass left there on the beach
    Well you tell me things I know you're not supposed to
    Then you leave me just out of reach"

    All the while, the protagonist loves this person, her love for him is genuine, but tainted in a way that is hard for the protagonist to deal with. This woman will do anything for love, but she's very damaged:

    "Well you stole it 'cause I needed the cash
    And you killed it 'cause I wanted revenge
    Well you lied to me 'cause I asked you to
    Baby, can we still be friends"

    I mean, it's all pretty self-explanatory. She's a wild woman who doesn't know any stability at all in her life, and when love comes along she tries her best but things ultimately FAIL for our protagonist and he's left wondering how she can possibly fill the void he reluctantly has left behind. He's worried.

    My favorite lyric is "who's gonna taste your salt water kisses"...

    salt-water = tears
    bradleybon December 06, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is my all time favourite song - U2 are my favourite band and this song means so much to me. I think it's a masterpiece - it's very powerful. It doesn't neccessarily make me cry, it's just makes your heart pound because of the way it builds to the chorus. Truely a work of art
    angel of harlemon July 07, 2003   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI believe this is simply a beautiful song where he pleads to the "wild" woman he loves who repeatedly leaves him ("gypsy heart"), but repeatedly comes back to him because essentially no one ("who's gonna?") can ride her "wild horses" like he can. Who else can do the things that he's done for her? No one. The part where he essentially leads up to the scream of "Don't turn around, and don't look back. Come on now love, don't you look back" is probably the most mesmerizing part of the song. It's like he's using reverse psychology because he knows once she looks back, he'll be entranced again to do her bidding: "the doors you open I just can't close."

    It's a kind push and pull type of thing, thematically similar to "With Or Without You".

    The song is amazing.
    SultanOfSixon October 10, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentpretty simple actually. The guy falls in love with this free spirited girl who cannot commit to him. He always knew the reality of the truth, because she was honest about it BUT he was HOPEFUL that she would change. At the same time she would do anything for him. She was too wild for him, he too tame for her. They both knew it. Her world "mocked" the two of them together. "Took a drive in the dirty rain
    To a place where the wind calls your name
    Under the trees the river laughing at you and me"

    "Whose going to ride your wild horses" refers to who will be the one to live in her “free spirited” world and give her what she wants. He tried, but not his world either. He is hurt, but he knows he cannot be the one to ultimately make her happy. "Don’t turn around", He is asking her to keep going, because if she did turn around, he won’t be able to resist knowing that it is the wrong thing to do. "Who’s going to drown in your blue sea, whose going to taste your salt water kisses"
    Has nothing to do with tears, he refers to the one who will fall in her world (her blue sea) and taste her salt water kisses (her salt water lips from her blue sea). Who will be the one she will fall in love with. He is hurt it is not him, but he always knew it never was. "Who is going to tame the heart of thee" (who will she commit to?)
    camcameraon January 25, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is completely about breakup. A really, really nasty one. Almost like the breakup of a marriage... and y'know how one of the band members had gone through a divorce at the same time of the Achtung Baby writing, maybe this song came out of that.
    I love to listen to this song when I'm angry or unstable. It's quite an angsty song, and I always calm down listening to it.
    "Took a drive in the dirty rain, to a place where the wind calls your name
    Only the trees and river laughing at you and me
    Hallelujah, Heaven's white rose
    The doors you open I just can't close"
    That's sheer poetry. It evokes quite vivid images in my mind- a man driving down a watery, glistening black street in a dirty red pickup truck, rain beating down in sheets... and then he and the girl, "Heaven's white rose", are sitting by the river, a churning brown river, making love in the mud- and her hair is black, her dress is white, and it's getting stained from the mud they're rolling in, and the trees provide little shelter, and wind is whistling through the branches...
    I get so caught up in this song. I love it to death.
    EnduringChillon May 30, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationYou're dangerous 'cause you're honest
    You're dangerous, you don't know what you want
    Well you left my heart empty as a vacant lot

    --> She is a previous lover, that she "left my heart empty as a vacant lot"

    For any spirit to haunt

    --> Refers to whoever he is with now


    You're an accident waiting to happen
    You're a piece of glass left in a beach
    Well, you tell me things I know you're not supposed to
    Then you leave me just out of reach

    --> She comes back to him, but he is in another relationship - its "an accident waiting to happen" if he falls in love with her again.

    Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
    Who's gonna drown in your blue sea?
    Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
    Who's gonna fall at the foot of thee?

    --> He wonders who will she ultimately end up with. Blue sea = blue eyes



    Well you stole it 'cause I needed the cash
    And you killed it 'cause I wanted revenge
    Well you lied to me 'cause I asked you to
    Baby, can we still be friends?

    --> When they were together, she would do anything for him. When the initial relationship ended - she lied to him saying that they could still be friends, because that's what he wanted to hear


    Oh, the deeper I spin
    Oh, the hunter will sin for your ivory skin

    --> He is admitting to being tempted by her at the expense of his current relationship

    Took a drive in the dirty rain
    To a place where the wind calls your name
    Under the trees the river laughing at you and me

    --> poetic recall of being together again. River laughing = can't separate 2 streams/rivers that have joined into one

    Hallelujah, heavens white rose
    The doors you open
    I just can't close

    --> He wants her, if she offer an opportunity, he won't say no


    Don't turn around, don't turn around again
    Don't turn around, your gypsy heart
    Don't turn around, don't turn around again
    Don't turn around, and don't look back
    Come on now love, don't you look back!

    --> He's pleading with her (and himself) to go, because he cannot resist her.

    Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
    Who's gonna drown in your blue sea?
    Who's gonna taste your salt water kisses?
    Who's gonna take the place of me?

    --> He wonders who will take his place - I think this line is filled with bravado, sadness, regret, jealousy.
    WGRYWHon May 11, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is on the surface about sexual jealousy. However, Larry made the comment once it is about a clandestine affair one band member had with a fan that turned potentially risky.
    foreverafternoonon May 13, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti used to think that this song was a guy singing to his girlfriend that just broke up with him. and he's telling her: after this, whos going to take my place and put up with your shit... but yeah... i really don't know. =/
    eMotionSicknesson June 01, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is my all time favourite song - U2 are my favourite band and this song means so much to me. I think it's a masterpiece - it's very powerful. It doesn't neccessarily make me cry, it's just makes your heart pound because of the way it builds to the chorus. Truely a work of art
    angel of harlemon July 07, 2003   Link

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